County risk levels updated, guidance modified for some indoor activity

County risk levels under the state’s public health framework to reduce transmission and protect Oregonians from COVID-19 were updated yesterday. The framework uses four different risk levels for counties based on COVID-19 spread—Extreme Risk, High Risk, Moderate Risk, and Lower Risk—and assigns health and safety measures for each level. Effective Jan. 29 through Feb. 11, there will be 25 counties, including Malheur, in the Extreme Risk level, two at High Risk, two at Moderate Risk, and seven at Lower Risk. A complete list of counties and their associated risk levels is available here.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown also announced modifications to the guidance for indoor activities in Extreme Risk counties, which will take effect Jan. 29.

These modifications allow for a maximum of six people indoors at facilities over 500 square feet (for all indoor activities except dining) with associated guidance for ongoing physical distancing, cleaning protocols and face coverings. For facilities smaller than 500 square feet, the modified guidance allows for 1:1 customer experiences, such as personal training.

“The science has shown us that outdoor activities are safer than indoor activities when it comes to the spread of COVID 19, which is why we have clearly delineated guidance between indoor and outdoor activities,” said Governor Brown. “We have seen over the last several weeks that Oregonians have largely complied with risk levels to the point that we have not seen a surge in hospitalizations that would have jeopardized hospital capacity. This means we are able to make these adjustments for Extreme Risk counties, which should assist both businesses and Oregonians as we continue to work to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Updates to Warning Week data and county risk levels, as well as updated guidance, will be posted to coronavirus.oregon.gov by Jan. 29.  

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